New Zealand Post has signed a licensing deal with digital postal mail provider Zumbox. The company’s software, which is said to be the world’s first platform for digital postal mail, enables the creation of electronic facsimiles of paper mail that are delivered online to users, based on street addresses.
Physical mail deliveries have been declining by five percent year-on-year here for the past three years, which NZ Post spokesman John Tulloch describes as an irreversible trend.
“We can’t simply stand by and watch the world change,” he says. “It is a case of being in a position to move with changing trends.”
He says NZ Post is testing the Zumbox system and will then trial it. No time frame has been set for implementation.
“We’re working with potential customers – big senders – to see what they want.”
He couldn’t say at this stage, how digital mail would affect the bulk mail discounts that big senders currently get from NZ Post.
Zumbox is a closed system that operates on the internet in a secure environment. Consumers are given secure log-in details to access the online portal through a web browser.
A recent select committee review of NZ Post says fundamental changes are needed if the state-owned company is to succeed in a rapidly changing environment. The Commerce Committee review states it is disappointed that interim results to December 20 indicate the group is unlikely to achieve its full-year net profit target of $60.8 million. In the 2010 financial year, NZ Post recorded a net profit of $1.3 million, after one-off costs. The previous year, it posted a profit of $71.8 million.
The committee says NZ Post has seemed somewhat slow to respond to changes in technology and the climate for postal services.
NZ Post recently announced it planned to cut as many as 20 Post Shops and to install access points, such as kiosks at petrol stations and supermarkets. There will be some staff lay-offs.